Spending festive season with a healthy mind

Christmas is just around the corner, to be followed soon by the New Year. It is a time for prayers, merriment and meeting family and friends. But unfortunately many people enjoy the festival in such   a manner that they become sick afterwards.
Merrymaking gives people excuses to binge. Net photo.
Merrymaking gives people excuses to binge. Net photo.

Christmas is just around the corner, to be followed soon by the New Year. It is a time for prayers, merriment and meeting family and friends. But unfortunately many people enjoy the festival in such   a manner that they become sick afterwards.

The majority of people associate merrymaking with drinking, often degenerating into binge. Some may be casual drinkers, while some may be confirmed alcoholics who drink regularly and cannot spend one evening without drinking. 

To celebrate festivity, the casual drinkers also drink in excess amounts such that they become sick. Their binge drinking is invariably followed by vomiting or severe pain in abdomen. This may be associated with falling into stupor or an intoxicated state where they make a spectacle of themselves by crying or talking irrelevant things agitatedly.

However, there are many healthy and tasty drinks available, ranging from fresh fruit juices to milk shakes. If at all one desires is alcoholic drinks, those with less content of alcohol such as wines and beers should be preferred over strong liquor such as rum or whiskey. Take in moderation.

Similarly, excess soda should be avoided as they induce abdominal pain and vomiting.

Binge eating is as harmful as binge drinking. Some individuals consume food in such quantity that makes them sick. Few minutes of enjoyment of good food in excess results in abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating sensation, nausea or vomiting. As such deep fried food substances are hard to digest and in excess become harmful.  To avoid falling sick, one needs to eat moderately only as per the appetite and capacity to eat.

Those suffering from peptic ulcer, diabetes, hypertension (maladies needing special diet), etc, should be discrete while eating. They should not let their guard down and indulge in substances that could potentially harm their health status afterwards.

Those suffering from asthma, recurrent cold or skin rashes due to allergy should take fast foods and processed foods with caution because the chemicals used as preservatives or flavouring agents can precipitate and aggravate their problem. Cakes, candies and other types of confectionery can also make them potentially sick due to the chemicals present for colouring or flavouring.

These precautions are not outlined to scare you, but for alert purpose, after all, a festival is meant for joy and relaxation. One should not spoil it by falling sick and visiting hospitals instead of friends and family.

Dr Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital

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